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How to Deliver a TED Talk: Selling Your Why

“People don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it..”

How to Deliver a TED Talk by Jeremey Donovan, page 21

“$39.95? It only took you fifteen minutes to change my oil. That’s like… $160.00/hour.”

$15,275.00? It only took you five hours to fix my heart valve. That’s over $3,000 per hour.”

I could include another 5,000 examples, but the message would remain the same. You are not selling time. You are selling a “solution” to the problem.

Today’s message differentiates between your “what” and your “why.”

Click on the book to grab your own copy of "How to Deliver a TED Talk"

Click on the book to grab your own copy of “How to Deliver a TED Talk”

1. What you do is loosen bolts, position oil pans, drain, and replace lubricants.

Why you do it is to insure engines operate properly so your spouse’s vehicle does not break down at 1 am in the morning on the way home from a celebratory dinner.

2. What you do is dress in clean gowns, make incisions, hook up complicated-looking hoses and machines that make noises, give instructions to nurses, and replace one defective gizmo with one you took from a pig.

Why you do it is to give mommy or daddy another chance to see their baby walk down the aisle on their wedding day. You might even get a shot at holding their first born if your doctor attended classes regularly.

Many consumers, clients, and customers fail to differentiate among the two. And whose job is it to explain your contribution? I will give you a hint: it’s not theirs.

You must pause long enough to explain the role you play in the vacation-planning process. Anybody given the time and inclination to do so, can perform your mechanical tasks of phoning, researching, and booking an itinerary. That is “what” you do.

It is the “why” that warrants the compensation. You do it so that you are assured a seat, a room, a reservation, a view, an excursion, a ticket, a place at the table, a good night’s sleep, a number to call in case of emergency or mid-trip alterations, a total and memorable vacation experience… so that you, the client, can do noting but enjoy and bask in the experience.

This is worth repeating: “People don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it.”

Note: Similarly, when writing an article or an information piece like this, you are not acknowledged by the word count. You are appreciated for the meaning and relativity of the message.


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